• Sweden's news in English

'Not OK' for pastors to operate machine guns: Swedish church

TT/The Local/dl · 27 Apr 2011, 08:35

Published: 27 Apr 2011 08:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"A Swedish field pastor carries a weapon, but only to be used in self-defence and to protect others," Marie-Louise Olsson Rautalinko, a lawyer with the cathedral chapter in Härnösand in northern Sweden, said in a statement.

The ruling comes following an investigation into the actions of Daniel Breimert, who used a column published in February the local Örnsköldsviks Allehanda and Tidningen Ångermanland newspaper to describe an occasion when he climbed behind the machine gun mounted on the top of an armoured vehicle.

"On the road with a vehicle convoy to Shebergan it's my turn to man the machine gun on the roof of the Galten we're riding in," wrote Breimert.

In early April, the matter was reported to the bishop by Jan Grimell, a military officer with a degree in theology, who described the pastor's actions as "absurd".

"If a pastor is sitting behind a machine gun, then he's misunderstood his mission. He should be there for spiritual guidance and church-related matters; there are soldiers who can man the machine gun," Grimell told the newspaper.

Breimert later admitted his actions were "inappropriate", an assessment shared by the cathedral chapter in Härnosand.

He told the newspaper he only got behind the machine gun because he couldn't drive the armoured vehicle or operate the radio, leaving the machine gun post as the only job left he could perform.

Story continues below…

In light of Breimert's expressions of regret, and promise that the incident will not be repeated, the cathedral chapter decided not to pursue any further disciplinary action against him.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:02 April 27, 2011 by wenddiver
Get real the machine gun is there to protect innocent lives in the column, it's good the Pastor do his part to protect his flocck. This is the same as St. Joan of Arc or Jesus using violence on the Moneychangers at the temple.
09:46 April 27, 2011 by occassional
Got to admire the Church's attention to detail
09:46 April 27, 2011 by Borilla
He can always throw his bible at the enemy.
10:52 April 27, 2011 by johnny1939
There you go again Swedish Church being silly and nit picking. The pastors place behind the machine gun was to protect his fellow countrymen in case they got attacked including himself sooo what? Maybe the church should question whether we should be in Afghanistan or not or maybe they do and I missed it.
10:59 April 27, 2011 by LeoKinmann
this news is freaking hilarious!!!
11:00 April 27, 2011 by isenhand
In the good old days, clergy were only allowed to kill people with weapons that did not draw blood
12:09 April 27, 2011 by RobinHood
The time of the Knights Templar is over. These days, clerics must choose whether to fight or pray. They can't do both.

That in no way makes them cowardly. In the last two world wars clerics won many medals through making incredible sacrifices to protect the injured and dying. Charles Liteky (Catholic) won the medal of honour in Vietnam for carrying out 20 wounded men under intense fire. Even more poignant are clerics who died laying their own bodies over those of wounded men to shield them from enemy fire.

The Swedish fighting pastor will maybe one day get his chance to help his men in another way than by manning a heavy machine gun. But, I hope not.
12:36 April 27, 2011 by Twiceshy
insane. this church truly follows their god:


Not the GOD of the Bible. Read the above and think about it people. As to wenddiver, Jesus did not kill anyone - EVER! He stood up for pure worship in his fathers house. That is nothing like this or your example.
13:55 April 27, 2011 by wenddiver
@Twiceshy- Do us all a favor read before you respond. Did I say Jesus killed anybody, Duh? Obviously not. Still as to being a pacifist when confronting evil, he wasn't. Being willing to deeat evil by letting it nail you to a cross is obviously a pretty tough position. Doing it to save sinners is obviously downright militant. St. Joan of Arc, Tynsdale, St. Olaf, Christ, Moses, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Dietrick Bohnhoeffer, St. Paul and St. Peter ere obviously not from the pansy version of Christianity that lives of a check from the government.

Except for St. Joan they were Real Men and if they had been on that plane the terrorists took over on 911 and the passengers tried to take it back, before it was used in a weapon (it crashed into a Pennsylvania field) I am pretty sure they all would have been with the Passengers that said "Let's Roll". Tolerating Evil was never mainstreem, until recent years. And that is what Swedish Army Pastors are facing in Afganistan, Pure Evil.
16:12 April 27, 2011 by millionmileman
The Ten Commandments in The Bible states in Hebrew, which is the definitive definition, "Though Shalt Not Murder." To kill in self-defense is permitted because it is more important to protect an innocent life at the hands of someone who would have no second thoughts of killing a peace keeping soldier in the Swedish Army in Afghanistan.

These are the same killers without a conscience that I had no second thoughts of shooting. I had to down a jet whose pilot (later discovered dead) deliberately was coming in to attack my clearly marked field field hospital. I was not only a medic, who was only supposed to fire in self-defense but invoked my right to defend my wounded, not to mention myself.
17:46 April 27, 2011 by jmclewis
Under the Geneva Convention Clergy are noncombatants...... and they should be treated and act as such at all times.
18:17 April 27, 2011 by reason
wenddiver: "Being willing to deeat evil by letting it nail you to a cross is obviously a pretty tough position. Doing it to save sinners is obviously downright militant."

Masochistic is the word I would use.
18:49 April 27, 2011 by swedejane
I'm pretty sure Jesus would be cool with machine guns.
21:08 April 27, 2011 by Tanskalainen
As long as the clergy don't use machine guns in the pulpit I don't see a problem here.

@swedejane If machine guns had been around when Jesus cleared the Temple he definitely would have used one (along with two Glock pistols).
02:19 April 28, 2011 by Da Goat
The clergy should not be carrying weapons God is much more powerful than any weapon. find a book call "a thousand shall fall" (I think that the name) about a Russian Christian who was in the pioneers as a sapper/engineer WWII, he threw his weapon away and made a replica one from wood (so he had something at inspection) and he was protected as well as his unit, all the way thru the war! when ever he was targeted the weapons jammed, and things like that totally amazing! miracles. if the chaplain is carrying a weapon then he is a combatant and can be targeted . if he is unarmed then it is a war crime to shoot as well as showing no faith in what they believe. then again we are talking about C of S and they long ago gave away their Christianity !
03:04 April 28, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
"Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. 'He will rule them with an iron sceptre.' He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On His robe and on this thigh He has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." Rev. 19:15,16 NIV speaking of the return of Jesus.

Jesus is hardly a wilting violet. The first time He came He had a specific purpose - the propitiation for sin. There is a shrinking window of opportunity to take the pardon offered by the King of Kings before the Day of Judgement.
14:41 April 29, 2011 by wenddiver
Anybody who thinks the men who founded the Protestant Church in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Norway and yes the the US might want to sit down and read the words to the Hymn Luther wrote named "A Mighty Fortress" or maybe a good biography of Sweden's Gustaus Adolfus Kicked the butt of half of non-protestant Europe, Oliver Cromwell who defended the Parlimentarian and Protestant causes in the English Civil War or Lutheran Pastor Muhlenburg who defended American Freedoms in the American Revolution.

Our Protestant Democracies were not founded by efeminant, pascifists and weanies. Historically the Fighting Pastor is correct. His is the true, self reliant Christianity of our ancestors that made the West great. God Bless him.
Today's headlines
Fake police car driver seized after confronting real police
File photo of a police car. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Three men in a fake police car were left red-faced after they tried to stop a man in southern Sweden who turned out to be an off-duty officer.

This tiny bird can fly for ten months straight: scientists
The common swift while not in flight. Photo: Madis Veskimeister/Wikimedia

Swedish scientists have found that this bird stays in the air for almost a year without landing.

Why the Pope is visiting Sweden next week
Pope Francis in the Vatican. Photo: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Pope to nail reconciliation agenda to Lutherans' door in southern Sweden.

The Local Recipes
How to make no-knead sourdough bread like a Swede
No-knead sourdough bread. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes love their sourdough bread. Food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite Swedish recipe for a no-knead loaf.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available